Plans for a new leisure centre in the Spen Valley

Councillors will be asked to approve the programme to build a new leisure centre in the Spen Valley and move to the detailed design stage at the cabinet meeting on 21 August 2018.

Why is this happening?

The existing swimming pool, which was opened in 1969, is outdated and in need of replacement and the building itself is beginning to deteriorate.  We will be looking to work with Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) to build a new leisure centre. Together, we are seeking to invest £15 million to ensure that it is a quality facility which helps residents in the Spen Valley to be physically active and therefore more healthy.

What will be included in the Spen Valley Leisure Centre?

The plan, if approved, is to build a bespoke 2 story leisure centre with excellent fitness and swimming provision all in one building on the existing Spenborough pool site.  Other sites were considered but the existing site is the most viable.

Spen 2

The plans for the new centre include:

  • an eight-lane 25m pool with seating gallery
  • a five-lane  20m training pool with movable floor
  • a fitness suite
  • two exercise studios
  • a spin studio
  • changing facilities
  • facilities for people with a disability and complex needs.



What will happen during the build?

The new leisure centre is expected to take 2 years to build and whilst this work takes place, the existing pool will be closed.  KAL will actively work with existing customers to try and accommodate them at nearby facilities. Timetable and opening time changes, alongside a comprehensive communications plan, are expected to go some way to managing this. We also plan to work closely with schools and swimming groups to make sure suitable facilities are available to them whilst the new leisure centre is developed.

It is proposed that the existing athletics track, fitness suite and studios will stay open throughout the build.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said:

“Our financial investment in a new leisure centre in Spenborough will directly lead to a social investment in the long-term health of our residents for years to come.  KAL, our key partner on this development, will be offering a range of affordable fitness and leisure activities that are essential to encouraging people to increase their activity levels. We know that being more active is essential to improving wellbeing and living a healthy life and I’m confident the new leisure centre will inspire and support local people to make good use of the modern facilities available.

This build is all about delivering on our promises to provide a fantastic leisure centre for people living in the Spen Valley. We have considered how best to deliver this new facility, whilst continuing to provide as full a range of services as possible for those who use the centre.  We know that there will be some disruption from closing the pool for up to two years but I am confident that by working together in a creative way, we can minimise the impact on those who use all our pools in North Kirklees, whilst looking forward to a brand new leisure centre.

We are committed to working with schools to make the transition to the new pool as seamless as possible so that children can continue to have swimming lessons during the build period.  By replacing the current pool, which is reaching the end of its usable life, with modern pools designed to offer flexible swimming opportunities,  we are making sure that generations of young people from the Spen Valley will be able to swim here in the future.”

For more information about the plans, see the report.


  • i would have thought there would be plans to accommodate racket sports, at least outdoor tennis courts. that site is huge with loads of space behind. you could build indoor tennis courts and still not even touch the size of that field behind. the site needs to cater to all sporting activities not just basic ones.

  • I totally agree, I used to love steam room and went most Saturdays. It definitely needs to cater for wellbeing e.g. a spa

  • I was wondering if one of these new pools will have a ramp for disabled and old people to be able to walk into the pool? Rather than having to use steps/ladder.

  • I was wondering will the skatepark still be available or will it be destroyed

  • great for the area.
    my only concern could be traffic entering from Cleckheaton & blocking the dual carriageway especially during school term
    when children are being dropped off & picked up

  • Kirklees Council and KAL are being narrow minded and unreasonable in not providing at least one multi purpose sports hall. This could be used for a variety of activities including bowls and whilst it could never make up for the loss of Whitcliffe it would go somewhere towards providing a healthier lifestyle

  • Why has no one else mentioned the considerable reduction in the length of the new pool? It will be just another small pool out of many, no good for anything other than a splash-about. I find it hard to believe that it was absolute necessary to replace the pool; replace the buildings around it if you really must. Probably all just an excuse to throw some money at contractors.

  • What’s more, only a 25m pool – a siginificant downgrade from the current 33m one. There are 25m pools everywhere, the large pool is the main reason I go to Spenborough. 25m pools are useless for length swimming, they’re always overcrowded and you’re constantly turning around at the ends.

    Along with the 2-year closure, as far as I’m concerned they may as well have closed the pool for good.

  • These new facilities are best described as a fitness centre. It is not a sports complex other than outdoor track facilities for serious athletes. It is a poor substitute for the loss of Whitcliffe. Many younger people want to play five a side football, basketball, volleyball etc. Currently a lot of north Kirklees residents have to book space in Brighouse for football and other team sports. Older residents favour bowling as Whitcliffe’s constantly booked greens demonstrated.
    It seems a shame that the fellowship of team sports for all ages is to be surplanted by the individual pursuit of the body beautiful!

  • I must ask the same as above, why no café? Nothing better than recovering with a nice cup of freshly brewed tea after a work out in the gym. Sorry, but vending machine tea and coffee is awful.

  • Hi Mike

    You are quite right that these first plans only show space for vending machines. As we enter stage three of the project during which we look at the designs in detail, we are reviewing the initial brief for the reception area as it is felt that vending machines alone are not sufficient. It is unlikely that there will be enough space for a café like the Retreat Café but we are looking at having provision for cold food such as drinks, sandwiches and healthy snacks similar to the kiosk at Huddersfield Leisure Centre which is proving to be very successful.

    Before Christmas, there will be a chance for customers to see the plans, ask questions and provide comments so please look out for these sessions and discuss the café provision with the consultation staff.



  • Can you let me know what will be happening to the retreat cafe as we have been going many years will there be a cafe provided? In the new build as I can not see anything on the plan as me and my children love to eat after swimming and do not like using the vending machines thanks .

  • Looking at the plans, I cannot see any cafe area. I can only presume the area with seating will have self service machines. The present cafe provides a good fresh selection of both food and drink, which will be lost if it is not catered for in the new building.

  • Great to hear some progress is being made on this and not before time. Why not make a 50 meter pool with partitioning and depth control like John Charles. It’s so much more versatile and meets the needs of all far better in my opinion. Wouldn’t be surprised if it is cheaper to build than two separate pools too. 🏊‍♂️ 👍

  • Could a sports hall not be included to enable other sports such as netball, basketball, tennis & badminton. There is huge demand for sports hall facilities in North kirklees and very little availability.

  • I cannot see anything for the older generation, we had indoor bowling green at whitcliffe mount, nthat was very well patronised , now we have nothing nearer than leeds, .

  • Is there to be no indoor bowling facility? like the one lost at Whitcliffe Mount !
    Barry West
    Ex head of PE at Whitcliffe Mount .

  • Please consider providing spa facilities similar to those in Dewsbury for those of us who believe that they have tremendous health benefits.

  • Why two years? It seems a very long gestation period. Surely this is a very long time for Spen to be without such facilites. Other facilities around are not up to the extra demand that a prolonged closure will present

  • I am very sorry to see there is no Spa in the plans. I think a Spa is a great asset.

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